Mumbai, (The Hindu): The Maharashtra government on Saturday passed an all-party resolution requesting the State Backward Class Commission to submit, as early as possible, its findings on the possibility of providing reservation to the Maratha community.
Requesting protesters not to take law into their own hands, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the government is doing everything possible to give Marathas reservation within the constitutional framework. Once the commission submits its report, the government will call a special session of the Assembly to do so, Mr. Fadnavis said after an all-party meeting.
“Our government had previously tried giving Marathas reservation, but the decision was overturned by the honourable courts. This time we want to proceed constitutionally, and having the report of the commission to back our decision will strengthen the claim of giving Marathas reservation,” Mr. Fadnavis said.
On the problems in implementation of schemes for the uplift of the community, Mr. Fadnavis blamed banks and educational institutions for creating hurdles. He said the government would cancel licences of colleges that withhold scholarships and admissions from Maratha students. “We have also asked banks to extend credit and allow us to implement the interest subvention scheme without any hurdles,” the Chief Minister said.
Mr. Fadnavis said that while it was taking long to source land for youth hostels for the community, the government will for now convert empty buildings owned by the Public Works Department into hostels.
Opposition parties, meanwhile, demanded that cases against protesters be withdrawn and the government allow peaceful demonstrations. Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said, “We have instructed the Direct General of Police, Maharashtra, to check video footage and file complaints and cases against culprits, and to withdraw cases against innocents. The government must clarify its stand on social schemes, reservation and if there is a case for 16% of government jobs to be set aside for the community. We urge the community to carry out peaceful protests in future.”
Former deputy chief minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar said the party supports the demand for reservation. “We have called a meeting of our party leaders on Monday to ensure the demand of the community is pushed forward,” he told reporters.
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